Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Writers Write: Declaring July My Personal Writing Month
Writers write. They actually spend time in front of a computer or with a pen in hand and they write. It is the simple truth. Writers write.
While others talk about it, writers do it. Writers write. You see writing takes time. If you’re a follower of this blog, you know that a few weeks ago I ran into a problem with my plot structure. I turned to the internet and the library to see what I could learn about “plot.” What I didn’t tell you was that one of the books I checked out was an inspirational little book by Chris Baty, the founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It caught my eye because of the title: No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress,High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. (I understand there is an updated version of the book as well.)
I checked it out and for the past two weeks I’ve enjoyed the quirky mind of Chris Baty. Although the book has some gritty language sprinkled in here and there (Nothing vulgar or I would have put it down.), I must say that I have enjoyed the book and the challenge Baty puts before those who want to call themselves writers.
From what I read, Baty and some of his friends said, wouldn’t it be cool to write a novel? They threw down the gauntlet to others and soon had a group of people who “always wanted to write a book.” They decided 50,000 words was their target length. They met in coffee shops and libraries to write. Not to talk about their writing. Not to share or critique or edit each other’s writing. They got together to write. Because that’s what writers do. Writers write.
Okay, yes, I picture the movie version of the Chris Baty story looking something like an episode of Seinfeld. There is a ton of humor in the book.
However, I think my biggest takeaway from the book was this: “Turn off your inner editor.” That resonates with me. I find my inner editor often shuts me down. The inner editor wants to reread everything and make sure it makes sense. The inner editor in me wants to perfect a sentence before jumping into the next paragraph.
The curious part of that inner editor piece is that I must have words written first to edit. Baty encourages writers to write. Get the words down. Stay with the project for the month, get the words down, and then set that inner editor loose.
I’m familiar with the concept of getting words down on paper. I belong to a group called My 500 Words. Everyone in the group attempts to write 500 words a day. I then joined up with another group who sets their sites on writing 1000 words a day. I investigated “Chunk Writing,” where you write “your” optimal word count each day. And I’ve read a number of blog posts suggesting the word count doesn’t matter as much as the task at hand. I do, after all spend a lot of time revising, editing, querying, researching, blogging, marketing and so forth. I don’t count all of that in my daily totals of words written—only the words I add to my novel.
I love the whole idea of taking a month to write a novel. Will it be wonderful and perfect and a best seller? Probably not. But it will be done.
So where does this leave me? I declared July my own writing month. I’m averaging 2000 words a day. Two thousand unedited words moving my story along at a fast pace. I am a writer. Writers write.
Bottom line: Write then write some more.
Thank you for visiting the blog today. I would love to read your comments…like do you use a word count? Ever try NaNoWriMo? Want to get together and write?
AND…Be sure to come back next week when I reveal what I’ve learned as an Undercover Boss.